Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mail Bag: Makeup

Not only do your clothes always look stunning, but you are always perfectly well groomed. Do you put as much thought into your make up as you do your clothes, or do you have a staple eyeshadow/lipstick or two that you always rely on? Like you, I love bright colours, non matchy-matchy mixes and funky shoes - but I always seem in two minds about whether I should keep my make up simple and neutral-ish, or if I should work that into my 'outfit' also, even if it is in subtle ways.

Any thoughts?


I’m no makeup expert, but I’m happy to share my makeup techniques.

Basic Base
For the most part, my makeup* stays the same every day: concealer (liquid and powder), powder foundation, cream blush, beige eyeshadow, black mascara, brow shadow, and a finishing face powder. Sometimes, I wear eyeliner, bronzer, or highlighter. I do vary my lipcolor and accent eyeshadow.

Matching Makeup
Lips. I usually go for red or pink lips and, yes, I match them to my outfit.

If I'm not wearing red or pink clothing, then I choose a red lip for outfits with warm tones and a pink lip for cooler ensembles.

Eyes. I usually do a neutral eye in browns and blacks, but I sometimes add a little teal or green to match what I'm wearing. I apply color to my eyes with a light hand, though. Any color is just an accent at the outer corners of my lids. I don’t have any pictures that show the colored shadow, which brings me to…

Polished in Pictures
Unless I publish close-ups or wear really heavy makeup, most of the cosmetic subtleties are lost in my blog pictures. If I want my face to look finished in a full-body photo, I play up my lips and brows.

To illustrate how well strong lips and eyebrows photgraph, I’ve taken a series of pictures. The first is my nekkid face. The second is with all the makeup I usually wear, but no lipstick or brow shadow. I add those products in the final photo.

But it’s a little difficult to get the effect of increasing levels of makeup unless I back up a little. (Don’t judge the outfit…just be glad I’m not wearing my pajamas as this was right after a nap.)

Admittedly not everyone is a fan of the dark brow, but I’ve been a convert since I scored my first auburn eyepencil from Sephora almost three years ago. I later converted to a shadow/wax kit and now just use a brown eyeshadow I found at the drug store. On the weekends, I often skip the brows and lips, but I don’t feel like I’ve got my face completed without them.

I know that some of my readers and fellow bloggers are much more proficient at cosmetics than I am. Do you match your makeup to your outfits or wear one basic “face?” What cosmetic makes you feel like your look is finished?

*Due to a conflict of interest, I will not publish the cosmetics brands I use.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Urban Cowgirl

In the 80’s, my dad wore a fanny pack. He called it a “waist bag,” which always translated to “waste bag” in my head and I imagined it full of trash and worse. Whatever the name, a pouch buckled around one’s middle was so uncool – even more so if your dad wore one.

Twenty years later, the hands-free nature of a hip bag has new appeal. Of course, it needs to be made of leather, not nylon, and have a more structured shape than the saggy fanny pack. This updated version has a sort of urban cowgirl vibe.

Blouse, Urban Renewal. Dress, Giorgio Fiorlani (thrifted). Boots, Playhouse. Hip bag, Happy Cow. Owl earrings, self made.

No waste around my waist!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Reading Garden

Confession time: I haven’t been taking all of my photos myself. With the help of my undercover assistant, I’ve been able to explore new locations, like the Reading Garden of the Cincinnati Public Library.

Vest, Urban Vibe. Tank, Merona. Skirt, Eddie Rodriguez. Peeptoes, Steven by Steve Madden. Necklace, Anthropologie.

Mail Bag: Purple Cardigan


I read your wonderful blog and although I'm actually quite a shy little thing, I have actually started to comment!

So, when I had a dilemma regarding a purple cardigan you were the natural expert to ask. ;)

I have a very cute short sleeved purple cardigan, not lilac or maroon but proper bluey dark purple. I adore this little cardie but I never know how to wear it. Today I have it on with a black tee, navy jeans and blue earrings (these)...but I'm not satisfied. Any suggestions oh great one? Tee hee.

Tuesday smiles (from the UK),

Rachel x

I’m somewhat newly a fan of purple, myself. I’m glad I came around to the purple side because it’s a hot color again this fall and winter. You’re sure to be on trend in your purple cardigan.

Let’s Pretend
It sounds as if the color is new to you, too, and you’re a little unsure as to what it goes with. When I’ve got an item in a funny color, sometimes I just pretend it’s black. So, if the cardigan were black, what would you pair it with? Once you’ve freed your mind from the “oh God it’s purple and matches nothing” dilemma, you can create some unexpected and interesting looks. You could be that girl who always wears the purple sweater.

Of course, all the pretending in the world isn’t going to turn your cardigan black (but, really, who needs another black sweater?)

So, what looks good with purple? In a prior mailbag post (Purple Shoes), I suggested the following purple pairings:

Dark brown
Kelly (leaf) green
Mustard yellow

I cautioned against wearing orange, bright yellow, red, or blue with purple, but I take that all back. I’ve had way too much fun with the Red Hat Society Experiments to ban red and purple. Blue (like your earrings) with purple sounds wonderfully subtle. And orange or bright yellow could be paired with purple and the right attitude.

Usually, I’d just post a bunch of pictures of myself, but I thought ahead to get permission to publish some photos of Wardrobe Remixers rocking the purple cardi instead.

(Clicking on any of these photos will bring you to the individual’s blog or flickr photstream.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beyond Work Wear

I usually wear my business casual ensembles well into the evenings on weekdays because of after-work activities. Today, I had a rare stop at home before heading out again. And because pajamas don’t cut it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I changed into this:

Jacket, Forever 21. Tank and necklace, Wet Seal. Skirt, Dex (thrifted). Sandals, Franco Sarto. Bag, Deux Lux.

I won't be pairing this tank and skirt together again. The combination is too lumpy where they overlap.

The newest in accessories: the grass plume mustache.

Hooray! New hangers for my closet. I haven’t hung my clothes upon them yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll be returning to BBB for the 50-hanger pack as well.

Ruffles and Chains and Studs, Oh My!

Are ruffles and chains and studs (and a floral appliqué) too much? Not in my book.

Vest, Urban Vibe. Blouse, Bebe (reworked by me). Dress, Newport News. Pumps, Delicious. Earrings, Claire’s. Chain, Monet. Pendant, thrifted.

I love these ruffled sleeves.

There goes Sammy in the last photo. He caught a grasshopper last night and was still playing with it this morning.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Style Bite

Freshman year of college, one of my suitemates was Hawaiian. She introduced me to a number of colorful pidgin terms. The only one I still use is “biter.” In Hawaiian pidgin, to “bite” is to copy, imitate, or emulate. The way I understand it, it’s a pejorative term.

Still, I proudly declare myself a biter today. I’ve bitten Sara M’s look from Tuesday: a navy, polka-dotted blouse bracketed by a black skirt and black sweater. I wore red flats, though, instead of black.

Blouse and necklace, Forever 21. Shrug, INC. Skirt, Mossimo. Bag, Deux Lux. Flats, NY & Co. Sunnies, Girl Props. Studded choker worn as a bracelet, thrifted.

Let’s be honest. I copy Sara M all the time. This is the first time I’ve been quite so blatant about it, but I’ve been enamored with her edgy style since I discovered her blog last fall. She’s one of my Rock and Roll muses. I hope she doesn’t mind me biting her style.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This is the perfect cardigan for pattern mixing. I’ve got plans to wear it with my zebra dress. Today, though, it’s roses on top of roses.

Cardigan, Forever 21. Tank, Apt 9. Skirt, Talbot’s. Cuff, Hot Topic. Peeptoes, Wet Seal. Bag, Vintage.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I’ve got a thing for owls. I’m not sure what it is about them that attracts me. I think a large part of it is the kitsch factor.

Cardigan, Forever 21. Dress, thrifted and shortened. Owl brooch, thrifted. Pumps, Footworks (thrifted). Ring, Sin City.

This little owl brooch is made of leather and looks handcrafted. I imagine it was once someone’s summer camp project. You never know what you’ll find in the thrift store jewelry case.

Other owl stuff I own:

And I’ve bought even more owl bits that I have yet to wear.